Education: Radiation Therapy

There are many types of radiation therapy, and our team at Austin Cancer Center will customize your treatment plan to include the safest, most effective treatments that are tailored to treating your disease. With advanced imaging, and state of the art tools, we can achieve optimal results. Please review the information below, provided by The National Cancer Institute.

Types of Treatment

There are two main types of radiation treatment, External and Internal Beam Radiation. External Beam Radiation comes from a machine that is aimed at the tumor site and uses photons, electrons or protons to penetrate through to deep tissues. Internal Beam Radiation utilizes liquid or solid materials which are injected or placed into your body or tissues to directly treat the tumor internally.

In order to create a treatment plan that is customized to target a tumor, additional imaging is used to measure the size, location and surrounding tissues.

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Types of External Beam Radiation

  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)- IMRT is a type of 3-D conformal radiation therapy that aims radiation beams at the tumor from several directions.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery and body radiation use high energy, precisely focused beams to target smaller tumors that may not be reached with surgery or if surgery is not an option.

Types of Internal Beam Radiation

  • Systemic Therapy- involves a liquid that enters the body through an IV fluid or in some cases is ingested.
  • Brachytherapy- uses solid fiducials, or small capsule like seeds that are radioactive and emit the radiation directly to the tumor for defined amounts of time, such as a few minutes, hours, days or permanently. The brachytherapy is placed using a small catheter or applicator tube, either into the tumor or into a nearby body cavity. Episcleral brachytherapy involves a radiation device attached to the eye to treat melanoma.

 

Please be sure to visit our Patient Support Services Page to learn more about resources and helpful publications that will improve your health during treatment.